Jam firm could move Tiptree factory site

A 126-year-old Tiptree jam making company has said it may have to leave the Essex village if it can not get permission to build new houses.

Wilkin & Sons, based in Tiptree, said it needed the money from the sale of land in the village for housing to fund a new factory.

Colchester Borough Council said it will work with the firm where it can to get the best result for the community.

The firm is consulting local people over the plans.

'Integral part'

A Wilkin & Sons spokesman said the need for housing plans to be approved "arises from the estimated cost of building a new factory at Tiptree (£15m) compared to the estimated cost of buying (£8m) or renting (£750,000 annually) elsewhere in the region".

Joint managing director Ian Thurgood said that "80% of our current staff (of 300 workers) live in the village and we expect to employ 500 people by 2030".

"Local support is a key factor for business expansion," he said.

"The jam factory is an integral part of village life for Tiptree and moving away would be the very last resort for us, it's not something we want to contemplate."

The firm said that if it could not get planning permission for the homes it would look at moving the main production factory out of Tiptree.

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